Thai Fishcakes with Sesame and Lime Dipping Sauce

The ingredients list for these noble little Thai-inspired fishcakes looks very long but the good thing is they can be made and cooked with incredible speed. Serve them as a first or main course, or they're also good as canapés to serve with drinks, in which case make them smaller.

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a starter

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and The Delia Collection: Fish.

Thai Fishcakes with Sesame and Lime Dipping Sauce
 1 lb (450 g) any white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
 1 stem lemon grass, roughly chopped
 1 fat clove garlic, peeled
 ½ inch (1 cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
 3 level tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, plus a few sprigs to garnish
 2 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped (if unavailable, leave them out)
 zest 1 lime (the juice goes in the sauce)
 1 medium red chilli, deseeded
 ½ small red pepper (use only ¼ if it's a large one), deseeded and roughly chopped
 3 oz (75 g) dried coconut powder
 2 level tablespoons lightly seasoned plain flour
 2-3 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil, for frying
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the dipping sauce:
 1 level teaspoon sesame seeds
 1 tablespoon sesame oil
 1 tablespoon lime juice
 1 dessertspoon Thai fish sauce
 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
You will also need a frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm).


To make the fishcakes you first of all need to put the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lime zest, chilli and red pepper into a food processor, then turn the motor on and blend everything fairly finely.

After that add the chunks of fish, process again briefly until the fish is blended in, then finally pour in the coconut powder (click here for stockist information) through the feeder tube. Switch on the motor again but be careful at this stage not to overprocess – all you need to do is briefly blend it all for 2-3 seconds.

Then tip the mixture into a bowl, add some seasoning and shape the fishcakes into 24 fairly small, thin, flattish, round shapes about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. If you like you can make them ahead to this stage, but spread them out in a single layer, cover with clingfilm and keep them in the refrigerator till needed.

Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. To do this, first of all begin by toasting the sesame seeds. Using a small, solid frying pan, pre-heat it over a medium heat, then add the sesame seeds and toast them, moving them around in the pan to brown them evenly. As soon as they begin to splutter and pop and turn golden, they're ready – this will take 1-2 minutes.

Then remove them from the frying pan to a serving bowl and simply stir in the rest of the ingredients.

When you're ready to cook the fishcakes, first coat them in the seasoned flour, then heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the frying pan over a high heat and, when it's really hot, turn the heat down to medium and fry the fishcakes briefly for about 30 seconds on each side to a pale golden colour. You will need to cook them in several batches, adding a little more oil if necessary.

As they cook, transfer to a warm plate and keep warm.

Serve with the dipping sauce, garnished with the remaining coriander.

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